KNOXVILLE– This past Sunday, on Jan 24, Brandon Church, a student here at Johnson University, made an intentional post on Facebook in an attempt to find his brother, Zachary Church. In reaction to Brandon’s post, Johnson students, friends, and family began to share the post in support of Brandon finding his brother.
Brandon Church is a sophomore at Johnson, and he is currently majoring in Intercultural studies with a focus on Urban studies.
Brandon’s Facebook post had a caption of this: “I have been in search of my brother for almost a decade and have decided that a viral picture is my last option. If you could take the time to please share this and make it go viral I would be forever grateful. Thank you all in advance.”
People from multiple states have shared Brandon’s post in hopes that he will be reunited with his brother Zachary. It has only been a few days and Brandon has already received more than 2,000 shares.
At the age of nine, Zachary was taken into foster care in 2006. “That was the last time I physically saw him,” Brandon said. Brandon has been in search of his brother since 2006, and has faced many obstacles along the way.
“I found him on an adoption website, but I still have had no contact with him,” he said. “Eventually his picture was taken down, which means he was out of the system, and that’s pretty much where I hit a road block.”
Brandon was raised in a home with his grandparents while Zachary stayed living with his mother. Since Brandon and Zachary were separated, Brandon as only a few memories of his brother that he can recall.
“He would get sticks and act like they were crutches to copy me,” he said. “I can remember a time where I built him a ramp for his bike and that was the last day I saw him.”
At the time Zachary was in foster care, Brandon had no contact with him at all. “I could never talk to him, send him birthday cards, or anything,” he said. “The obstacle is that his name might have changed and I only know the nine year old him so I wouldn’t know what he looks like now.”
In all his years of searching for his brother on social media sites, there has not been any luck. Brandon expressed that he is grateful that so many people are supportive of him in his search.
“The amount of help and support is overwhelming—I’ve had several people message me and give me words of encouragement and that helps a lot.”
If Brandon had the opportunity to speak to his brother he would just apologize to him. “I’d tell him I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything about the situation,” he said. ” I know he must have went through a lot from bouncing around foster homes.
In response to people’s reactions to his post, he said, “I’m not trying to be inspiring—I’m just trying to find my brother.”
If you would like to help Brandon Church in his search for his brother, he is in need of people to do the simple task of sharing his post on Facebook. If you have any information on how to contact Brandon’s brother, please contact him at Brandon.Church@johnsonu.edu